Rosemary Ganley The Peterborough Examiner September 22, 2022
Not a good exchange, this.
September sees the end of the 70-year reign of Elizabeth 11, age 96, Queen of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and 19 overseas territories, including Canada.
There is now a sober assessment of this long period of limited imperialist “rule.” Respected voices point to the stability provided by a limited, inherited monarchy, where the head of state is above the political fray. This opinion claims that such a system is superior to that of a republic, where the head of state is also the elected leader of government. An African friend tells me that that is a “temptation to tyranny.”
An instructive example of the disadvantages of the republican system can be seen today in the bitterness raging in the United States. A former elected leader is falsely claiming fraud, appointed judges are shown to be partisan, and the population is manipulated by crackpot conspiracy theories.
The limited monarchy system works well if the monarch stays apolitical, which this queen managed to do through 14 both strong and weak prime ministers, and is personally ethical and decent. She was all of this.
While Barbados recently cut its monarchy ties, and Jamaica and Australia are talking about it, few Canadian voices are criticizing the monarchical situation and calling for a similar break for us.
Elizabeth’s work ethic was remarkable to the end. On the Tuesday before her death, dignified in a kilt and sweater, she received new Prime Minister Liz Truss of the U.K. with smiles.
The end of this second Elizabethan era has led to fresh analysis of the British Empire and its history of getting rich on the backs of slaves, its colonialism, arrogance, systems of racism, and robbery of resources.
So strong are some angry feelings, one scholar in the States familiar with Nigerian history went so far as to wish the Queen pain and suffering. Her university, Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburg, distanced itself.
Hence discussions on the matter of whether we should stay or go from the monarchy must face both sets of facts.
Closer to home, in Canadian politics, almost every member of my extended circle laments the election of Poilievre as head of our official opposition party. What his election says about the shallow grasp of many Canadians of our issues and the qualities of good leadership is sad and disturbing.
The man is pugilistic in personality, devious in courting anti-democrats, lacking in policies to offer the people, and cynical about pulling them into a feeling of permanent grievance. There is a vindictiveness about him. His party encouraged members to send negative messages to its resigning Quebec MP.
A divider, not a constructive politician, he will try to cover over the fissures which his 20-year career in politics have created.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees said: “Pierre Poilievre has spent his campaign making the Conservative party a cosier place for far-right extremists and conspiracy theorists. This isn’t your parents’ Conservative party: it’s now Pierre’s Convoy Party of Canada.”
I agree with this assessment of his personality and inclinations, but it is the complete absence of climate policy in the Party he heads that is so irresponsible.
The state of the natural world is so dire it is almost criminal for a political group to ignore it. Worse is to call for, “Pipelines, pipelines everywhere.”
Environmentalists say the Liberals have done more on this crucial file than any previous government, with three enactments: the clean fuel bill, the carbon tax and the requirement that vehicles be pollution- free by 2035.
Poilievre is obviously not up to the times. Or he is, but disrespects Canadians’ ability to grasp the times in their complexity. Thus he poses a threat to our ongoing progress and unity.
Each of us must step up and express our rejection.
"Gleanings" is Rosemary Ganley's new book. You can purchase directly from the author at email@example.com or from >Amazon<